An HCCI Engine: Power Plant for a Hybrid Vehicle
Homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engines offer a great potential in achieving high thermal efficiency and extremely low NOx at the same time. However, control of combustion phasing over a wide speed and load range has been a challenge, especially during transient operations. This paper describes work conducted at the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory, which explores the potential use of an HCCI engine as a power plant for a hybrid vehicle. A four-cylinder, 1.9 L commercial diesel engine was modified to operate with port-injected regular grade gasoline in HCCI mode. The combustion phasing is controlled by a combination of boost, EGR and thermal management as a function of engine speed and load. As a stand-alone unit, the engine has demonstrated a wide operation range with efficiency like that of a diesel engine and NOx below 0.2 g/kWh. At room temperature, the engine starts in SI mode and then transitions to HCCI in about 25 seconds.